Cancer (edited)

Our infinite fight

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Our current solutions:

This infinite growth is stopped through chemotherapy, which specifically targets fast growing cells. This often does slow down the pace of cancer, but indiscriminately targets all fast cells, meaning hair loss and the destruction of stem cells. The other main form of cancer therapy is radiation, where massive blasts of gamma energy hits the DNA of cancer, abolishing cell division and removing its immortality. Radiation has its own problems, often destroying the body in the process. Our main systems of cancer seem to be a temporary solution to a permanent problem. Is there a better option?

Gene Editing

Gene Editing may be the answer. The immortality of cancer can be stopped if we can edit what cancer truly means. All in all, there are 5 main ways that gene therapy can fight cancer:

  1. Strengthening the immune system: Upgrading the body’s special forces in their fight against cancer means fundamentally changing T-Cells and their genetic structure. T-Cells are taken out of the body and edited by adding the NY-ESO gene (the best gene for getting an immune response). Once a massive number of T-Cells are produced in silica, they are re-introduced into the body.
  2. Editing Cancer itself: We can import genes into cancer itself. This is usually coupled with radiation therapy and chemotherapy, as the gene makes cancer more susceptible to a certain therapy.
  3. Activating Drugs: Importing genes into the cancer could also mean flipping a switch into allowing a certain drug to be active.
  4. Starving Cancer: Cancer can block when it is supposed to die, causing the tumor to enter a zombie like state. Some genes can reverse the zombification process, and CRISPR can inject that gene into cancer, making cancer mortal.
  5. Making Viruses: Viruses have a wide range of tasks depending on the specific type of virus, but many can kill specific cells. Editing the virus itself can possibly target cancer cells themselves. Currently, a modified version of the herpes virus is being used to target certain melanomas.

The Fallback

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash


The main thing that we have to worry about is proper testing through the channels. It is a fascinating technology that can affect every single person in the world for the better, but it has an equal chance of affecting those same people negatively. We have to take care in the ways we use this wonderful technology to make sure what we make is a better world.


Cancer is a fight that we battle will seemingly fight for eternity, but Gene Editing may be the tool to finally put it at bay. There are a multitude of ways that CRISPR-Cas9 can be used to fight, but at the same time there have to be proper precautions.



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Aniket Majumder

Aniket Majumder

I’m Aniket, and I’m interested in how we can make humans fundamentally better through better disease prevention and innovation.